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Russian expert says Volker’s Ukraine mission might fail

December 04, 2017, 12:15 UTC+3 MOSCOW

On November 13, US envoy for Ukraine Kurt Volker and Russian Presidential Aide Vladislav Surkov held talks in the Serbian capital of Belgrade

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Director of the Center for Current Politics Alexey Chesnakov

Director of the Center for Current Politics Alexey Chesnakov

© Valeriy Sharifulin/TASS

MOSCOW, December 4. /TASS/. The mission of Kurt Volker as a US envoy for Ukraine may result in failure, Director of the Center for Current Politics Alexey Chesnakov said in an interview with TASS on Monday.

The expert also noted that there are conflicting reports on the date of Volker’s new meeting with Russian Presidential Aide Vladislav Surkov. Volker earlier said the talks would be held in December, while Surkov said the meeting was expected "already next year."

According to the expert, this could be linked to Surkov’s busy schedule and that the year-end is a challenging time for such events. But still, "the process of agreeing the agenda of this upcoming meeting is underway." "This also requires some time," he said.

Volker and Surkov held the latest round of talks in the Serbian capital of Belgrade on November 13.

Speaking on why the sides have different assessments on the talks’ outcome, Chesnakov said "this means that the sides are moving in different directions and with different goals. That’s why the results are viewed in such different ways."

Earlier, Surkov acknowledged that the result is "better than zero," and this means that there is some progress, while Volker said this was "a step back."

According to Chesnakov, Moscow was disappointed as despite his promises Volker revised his position on the United Nations mission in Donbass. "The US side was once again told that the talks would continue only to discuss the Russian draft resolution," the expert said.

"We should admit that Volker has enough weak points," Chesnakov said. "He often declares positions in public, which he will hardly be able to defend during the talks. He is driving himself in the corner. But it’s up to him."

When asked if Volker’s mission could fail, the expert said: "Judging on this extensive and pessimistic interview of Mr. Volker to Politico, he admits that his mission may fail.".

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